Horror and magical realism are my favorite genres to blend. My first published attempt at doing this is my horror short “Autonomy Bleeds Black” where pain and power manifested into elemental forces. One of my favorite magical realism works is Pan’s Labyrinth directed by Guillermo Del Toro. I’m a huge fan of Del Toro’s and am grateful that Pan’s Labyrinth was my introduction to him. In interviews, he’s described this film to be very personal as someone who lived under strict and religious conditions, but used fantasy works and other genres to escape. Often our escapes become reflections of our inner world and help us interpret what’s going on within us subconsciously and consciously.
…These genres are mirrors, but for their effectiveness to withstand any resistance to our personal revelations, we writers have to hook the audience in with familiarity and give them the illusion of control.
My first draft rendition of introducing this new group of characters reminded me how sinful it is to write cringy dialogue and that my characters should have purpose or just not exist at all. I don’t mean to be too hard on myself considering it’s the first draft, but I was disappointed to read this scene of diverse characters introducing themselves with a silly/comedic camaraderie and then turning out to be kind of overpowered later. I already know my anime-brain took the lead on this. Now current me has to deal with characters whose purpose is poorly translated. While keeping my focus on making sure the voices of these characters were definitive and believable with their personality, I thought more critically about the development of side characters.
“I’d rather write one good book than ten mediocre ones.” – Donna Tartt
I’m finding that deadlines are bittersweet. They’re motivating, but I strongly feel that anything I create must be made to the best of my ability and I trust in my ability to make high quality work. I’m not striving for perfection as an artist; I’m striving for excellence. I want nothing more than progression and every publication to be a milestone in that progress.
With that being said, I’m eager for the near completion of my short story and the projects to follow. I’m also grateful for the time I’ve had to take care of myself and a very productive week. I hope anyone reading this is staying safe and trusting themselves to strive for excellence too with the time and power they have. Be patient with yourself.
It’s kind of maddening when you flesh out a good structure for a short story and you try to keep it true to its genre by keeping it SHORT and then new ideas pop up that you know will make it LONGER, but you also know that idea would be SO GOOD for the story because it ties into the theme and enhances the continuity and after that, you only HOPE that as you edit the second draft of the story and hope to have the damn thing published SOMEWHERE, all the rehashing will be worth it and no more new ideas interrupt your publishing process!
Time to get back to recording my novel progress. The last post I did about my novel was January 13th, so going back to that, I have finally edited about 110 pages of my first draft and am starting to write through the second. The exposition has been really fun to read through again, but now it’s time to hone in the focus on clear settings, intriguing characters, and establishing solid plots and subplots. Though I am writing the second draft, I am still reviewing some old notes and tracking everything from timelines to character arcs…It’s a glorious nightmare and one day, I’d like to show how I organized it all for publishing.
I’ll stay in touch. Time to write, plot, and write more.
Rage writing is when something angers you so much, you grab the writing method closest to you and start creating a story based on the event that you’re pissed at.
It’s good fun, yes, but I find it most fulfilling when I reread what I’ve created and reflected upon the theme later. The reflection makes the ending and details in between very clear and solidifies the theme.
Rage writing is also a great way to make sure you write more frequently, have a healthy outlet for your emotion, and process that anger. I’m not saying you’ll turn out being a better person than you were before or that you should try to write a happy ending to your rage-written story; but I am saying, at least for myself, that this is a satisfactory method of expression and it’s going to feel damn good to publish it in time.
So after some work and some rest, I’ve been able to progress in character development and the lore of my world. I’m stuck on vampires again, but temporarily. One of my characters is my vampire and an exorcist. I’m basing her spirit work skills on exorcism techniques they used in ancient Japan.
For the record, working on a novel isn’t doing the same thing every day, at least for me. To keep the mind active and the inspiration flowing, I think it’s okay to take different approaches to your work. It’s a great confidence booster too when you create a different way of developing your story and it leads to progress, but even when you don’t make the breakthrough you hoped for, taking in that experience is a progress in itself.
My struggles with anxiety have surprisingly inspired me to fight for a confident attitude towards my work and myself. Shadow work during this time (shadow work is a self-reflection process many pagans/witches do through divination or other means, in case you don’t know) has helped so much. I did start a daily Instagram posting of one of my shadow work methods, but now I’m behind because of some mental health issues on my end. I’m still trucking on though and wanted to say that things are still moving forward.
To end, a little advice from a teabag tassel I got yesterday: The purpose of life is to know yourself, love yourself, trust yourself, and be yourself.
I wrote an article for those interested in reading tarot, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Divination through reading the cards, also known as cartomancy, attracts those who love cryptic symbolism. Don’t think “cryptic” to mean “incredibly difficult to understand” in this case. Tarot cards are metaphorical in nature, but are usually simplistic and direct in design. Divination itself, or communing with the divine (or spirit work, and communication, if you prefer), can be ambiguous when starting out, but I think tarot is a great introduction to identifying personal and universal truths. Tarot is a great psychological tool for introspection. Whatever your reason is for picking up tarot, I hope this introduction will give you a general idea of what to expect while learning to read the cards, and provide suitable references to help you explore tarot further.
…the truth as you see it is what’s going to define the impact of tarot reading for you. What you should expect from reading tarot is gaining a revelation of your own perception of reality, whether you feel connected to divination or not.
Today was a fabulous research day! Today’s research topics helped me flesh out the history of two characters who, for lack of a better term, gave me major feels while writing them. Now that I’ve worked through their lives a bit more, I can continue writing their about their pain 🙂
Words Written: 2240 Current Word Count Total: 91,203
Research Topics: – GOAT DEMONS! – First and final draft plotting/organization ideas
Additional Work: – Polished some character design/backstory – Made major editing changes
Work Process: Well, first of all, I have some amazing writing music (the tracks by Raydar are SO GOOD).
Second, holy shit. I had a lot of fun! I love writing fight scenes! Doing my research the other day certainly helped (Bless you, Tolkien!). Although I know I’m really going to have to go back and consider my diction more carefully when I’m in second draft mode, I certainly feel like I made a breakthrough. Magic is hard to choreograph, especially when it involves so many demons and the undead…and wielding elements in a way you HOPE doesn’t remind people too much of Avatar: The Last Airbender (I don’t even have a lot of martial arts in this chapter). Still great though.
I also noticed, compared to some authortubers I checked out today, I don’t really organize my plot with sticky notes or on a board or whatever until doing the second draft. I have written some chapter summaries down and it helps me link to past chapters, but I can’t really plot the whole story from beginning to end with notes or stickies because it’s still fresh in my head. When I write it out, it just sort of happens. The character arcs and main plot just flow. I usually pause when I’m fleshing out lore or a character background, but that’s about it.
Okay, I’m really exhausted. I wrote for four hours straight. Hella proud. Good job me.